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Recently Schiffer Books kindly sent me copies of two books that had recently been published. The titles are Luxury Design for Living and Modern Masterpieces. Both feature some of the most exclusive residential homes in the world. From the outset Schiffer wanted to focus on luxurious properties with a strictly contemporary aesthetic. However, (as an exception) they did allow me to include a phenomenal German housing and office complex called Sonnenhof by J Mayer H Architects. Essentially this radical development is a perfect solution to modern day inner city living.

Even though I am predominantly interested in residential properties there are numerous extraordinary commercial buildings that have caught my eye. For example, I have written articles about MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Tasmania and Fogo Island Inn located Newfoundland, Canada. Another architectural gem that is worthy of editorial coverage is SELVAGENS by Pablo Pita. This imposing structure takes raw minimalism to a whole different level.

Over the last few year’s concrete has made a huge impact on contemporary residential architecture. This has also infiltrated in the commercial luxury design market with great effect. A few weeks ago I reviewed a wonderful pair of MW60 Wireless headphones from high end US based audio brand Master & Dynamic. However, their magnum opus is a concrete wireless speaker called MA770 co designed by renowned British architect, Sir David Adjaye. What makes this product so special is the overall clean geometric lines. The same observations can be made about SELVAGENS by Pablo Pita.

Unlike a lot of exclusive architecture, I feature on Total Design Review SELVAGENS is two houses designed for researchers. The raw concrete façade of the building reflects the inhospitable location of the islands in Madeira. This formidable structure was conceived by architects Pablo Rebelo, Pedro Pita and Catarina Alegria. The brief was to support studies and preservation of the reserve ecosystem. Even though the interior is brutally minimalistic it also has a feeling of tranquillity because of the dramatic ocean views.

Certainly these dwelling won’t appeal to everyone’s tastes but I am massively impressed with the bold industrial appearance.

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